Death Of Junee Prison Inmate
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
DEATH OF JUNEE PRISON INMATE
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: My question without notice is directed to the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. Is he aware that a 22-year-old inmate was
stabbed to death at Junee private gaol yesterday? How did this gross breach of prison security occur? Will the Attorney General now concede that Junee gaol is seriously understaffed and that the gaol's security and administration are a total shambles?
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: My answer to the last two questions is, no, I will not make such a concession or support such an allegation. I am pleased that the Leader of the Opposition is prepared to make this allegation in the Parliament. I assure him that I shall guarantee him major coverage among the staff of the Junee gaol and all the people of Junee on this issue. We well know the attitude of the people of Junee towards the Labor Party for the way that it has failed to support the people of Junee in regard to employment opportunities. The establishment of the Junee gaol was well and truly welcomed by the people of that town. For the Leader of the Opposition in this House to attack the credibility and commitment of the staff of the Junee gaol in regard to their obligations -
The Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann: It is a shambles.
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: I acknowledge the interjection by the Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann and her allegation that the gaol is a shambles, only to emphasise to the employees of Junee that the left-wing and right-wing of the Labor Party in this House have joined together to attack employees in Junee who are union members. I will make certain that all employees at the Junee gaol are well and truly aware of the united position of all factions of the Labor Party in relation to the commitment of the staff and the attack of the Labor Party on the professionalism of the staff at Junee. I will guarantee that is known to them. I will make certain that the people of Junee are also well aware that members of the Labor Party - and it is a united position of the Labor Party - are prepared to attack the integrity of those people in Junee who are pursuing -
The Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann: You are not answering the question.
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: I will get to the rest of it, the honourable member need not worry about that. I will make sure that the people of Junee are made well aware of the position Opposition members take in relation to the professionalism and commitment of the people at Junee gaol. As to the first part of the question, I am aware that an inmate was stabbed in an area near the education block. I understand that two other people were involved and that there were a number of witnesses to the incident. I understand further that two people have been detained, euphemistically to assist the police in their inquires. I am led to believe that charges are being laid or are likely to be laid this afternoon in relation to the unfortunate incident. As the Leader of the Opposition said, the person stabbed was a young man; he was in gaol for armed robbery, although he had a criminal history prior to his incarceration in Junee.
Prison authorities and the police are investigating the matter. Honourable members should understand that prisons are places where people who are not nice people are incarcerated. Often those who are in gaols have been put there following incidents of violence in the community. Members should be aware also that violence does occur in gaols. Whilst in all gaols every effort is made to minimise incidents of violence, such violent incidents do occur from time to time. One of the things that must be remembered is that during the administration of the Labor Party 10 murders occurred in the prison system. Murders within the prison system are not isolated; they occur whether the gaols are privately administered or publicly administered.
The Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann: In 4½ months there have been 10 from non-natural causes.
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: The honourable member's figures are again not accurate. Yesterday she showed her ignorance of the facts, and she has maintained that ignorance today.